ASU, Colorado roll in 2019 China-U.S. friendly exhibitions
SUZHOU, China - After opening 2019 Pac-12 China Game week taking in the sights of Shanghai, Wednesday was a day for basketball as Arizona State and Colorado participated in a pair of China-U.S. College Basketball Friendlies at the Suzhou New District Cultural & Sports Center.
Monday saw the two teams adjust to their foreign surroundings with a comfort from home in the form of coffee and a visit to Shanghai's Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Current ASU Athletics administrator and former Starbucks executive Natesh Rao helped arrange a tour and educational seminar at the world's largest Starbucks for both programs.
Tuesday marked the China Game week's fourth annual trip to Shanghai Disney Resort. In each of those years, competing Pac-12 China Game teams interact with children from the Yao Foundation, which aims to improve sports education and facilities and promote healthy lifestyles for youth in underserved areas of China.
On Wednesday, the Sun Devils and Buffaloes became the most recent teams to enjoy the unique experience of competing against peers from Chinese universities - Stanford and Harvard played a doubleheader at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2016, and Yale visited Suzhou in 2018.
Colorado rolled to a 109-42 victory over a united team from Tsinghua and Suzhou Universities, while Arizona State sprinted away from a close opening 10 minutes en route to a 113-64 triumph over a united team from Peking and Suzhou.
All 13 Buffaloes who played scored, with five reaching double figures led by 12 apiece from the trio of Tyler Bey, Maddox Daniels and Dallas Walton. CU shot 50 percent (42-84) from the field with nine 3-pointers, while limiting Tsinghua to 26 percent (16-62) overall and just a pair of triples.
Six Sun Devils hit double digits paced by 18 and 17 from backcourt newcomers Alonzo Verge Jr. and Jaelen House, respectively. ASU shot nearly 68 percent and outscored Peking 63-29 in the second half, closing at 61 percent (43-70) overall with a 35-5 advantage in fast-break points.
The teams' basketball attention now turns to Saturday's clash at Baoshan Sports Center. It will mark the second time in the event's five years that both participants are coming off 20-win campaigns and postseason appearances (UCLA/Georgia Tech), meaning the stakes for the Pac-12 China Game have never been higher as the two Conference programs will battle it out on ESPN2 back in the States Friday night.